Casting around the internet it seems like cyber warfare is a very hot news topic as we start the New Year. We avoided Armageddon in 2012, hopefully the current crop of stories aren’t signs of an imminent Cybergeddon in 2013... Here’s a summary of three diverse and interesting stories about cyber warfare in 2013.
The miniature city “built to be destroyed by Cyber Terrorists”
A new article upon the FastCompany website details a fascinating project called “CyberCity”. It’s a miniature city, covering an area of just 48 square feet that has a working electricity grid, with street lighting, a transport system including trains and even a banking network. The SANS Institute built CyberCity for the US government, to help demonstrate the “kinetic effects” of modern cyber warfare. Computer warfare can inflict real world damage, as anyone who watched Die Hard 4 will know.
Part of CyberCity awaiting disaster
Students of cyber warfare have been using the city to see the consequences of their actions. A couple of CyberCity training scenarios are detailed by Emily Badger, who wrote the FastCompany article, including how to “derail a train barrelling toward town with radiological weapons, or reprogram a rocket launcher on the military base that’s been aimed at the hospital.”
Cyber wargame center launches at Singapore Polytechnic
ZDNet reveals details of a new facility launched at Singapore Polytechnic to help train “the cyberdefenders of tomorrow”. The Cyber Wargame Center has been created to address the demand for competent security professionals who can help protect internet users; be they private individuals, companies or governments. Training and practical exercises will enable students to “learn the steps to react to security incidents, mitigate security risks, perform forensic analysis and analyze malware through reverse engineering” writes Ellyne Phneah.
The course manager at the Polytechnic, Liew Chin Chuan, said “We are an advocate of 'learning-by-doing' and we aim to create a realistic environment for [our] students to acquire the operational and tactical engagement skills in responding to cyber threats”.
Israeli teens to be trained on new cyber-warfare programme
This new training program, detailed by Warwick Ashford earlier this week writing for Computer Weekly, is aimed at training tech savvy talented 16 to 18 year olds to bolster Israel’s National Cyber Bureau. The training course is a full three years. Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the youths will help build a “digital Iron Dome” to protect Israel and it’s vital systems – just like those detailed in CyberCity, above.
Computer Weekly reminds us that Israel was one of only a few countries targeted by the Flame malware, discovered last summer by Kaspersky researchers. Flame was designed to steal valuable computer data through a variety of vectors.
That’s the end of my cyber war news update for now. I hope everyone lives in cyber-peace this weekend.